Oct 22, 2009

Delcam to launch PowerSHAPE CAD with Parasolid at Euromold

Delcam will launch the first version of its PowerSHAPE CAD system to incorporate the Parasolid kernel at the Euromold exhibition to be held in Frankfurt from 2nd to 5th December. This new version will be the most significant development in Delcam’s design software since it was first released some ten years ago. It will give significant benefits to companies that use PowerSHAPE as a stand-alone design system and to those that use the software as part of Delcam’s complete product development suite.

The incorporation of the Parasolid kernel will reinforce PowerSHAPE’s solid modelling capabilities, alongside its well-established surface modelling operations. The combination of the two technologies will provide a complete solution for designers that undertake conceptual design with PowerSHAPE and to toolmakers that use the software for data translation and tooling design.

Delcam has been developing its surface modelling technology for more than 30 years. This long history has given PowerSHAPE unrivalled ability to design and edit the most complex shapes. The addition of the Parasolid kernel will give equal strength in the development of history-based geometric models.

The combination of the two technologies is especially important for designers of plastic products and housings. These frequently need surface modelling to create an attractive external shape but require solid modelling to generate the more geometric internal features, such as reinforcing ribs and bosses for fixing.

A similar mix of technology is needed for tooling design. Surface modelling is essential to undertake detailed operations like creating and adjusting split lines. History-based solid modelling can even be a disadvantage at this stage because it can become difficult to change a single fillet radius or draft angle without affecting other parts of the model.

Solid modelling really comes into its own when the designer moves from creating the core and cavity into building the rest of the tool. Most of these other components are made up from simpler prismatic shapes and the Parasolid kernel is the acknowledged leader for this type of design work. Delcam’s implementation of this technology within PowerSHAPE will give both faster creation of the initial design and much quicker regeneration of the complete design following any modifications.

The addition of Parasolid will also enhance Delcam’s unique Power Features technology. Components that contain Power Features react automatically as they are placed within an assembly, adding all the necessary fit-features to the connecting components. As each part is added, the tolerances between the various components are also defined automatically. This automatic creation of relationships makes the development of the overall design much quicker than other CAD systems and also makes errors in the design process far less likely.

The new release of PowerSHAPE will also provide an extremely flexible method for translating data from other software into the Parasolid format that can be read directly into programs including Unigraphics, SolidWorks and Solid Edge. The ability to import poor-quality data has been one of PowerSHAPE’s main strengths for many years and one of the key reasons why the software has become so popular with toolmakers and other subcontractors. In the new version, users will be able to apply all of PowerSHAPE’s tools to correct common problems with files, including inaccurate trimming, poorly-matched surface edges, missing fillets and duplicated surfaces. Then, the repaired file can be output as a fault-free Parasolid file.